Wednesday, 27 October 2010

To make a cup of tea or dismember a corpse. Oh, the mundanity of it all . . .

Following on from John McFetridge's thought-provoking post over on the Do Some Damage site, regarding the responsibility of the writer, where he asks 'Are we really writing social novels, or are we just exploiting social situations for cheap thrills?'  FULL ARTICLE HERE

But what about the opposite end of the argument.  How far does our responisibility as writers go in presenting the unvarnished truth?  No prettying up or moral excuses.  Just in your face truth.  However ordinary.  Every individual, after all, shows us the darkest truths about themselves in the tiniest details of the mundane.  If only we took the time to look.

The making of a cup of tea or the method by which a body is dismembered csn both speak volumes about the darkness within.

Goes back to the old argument:  It's not what you write, it's how you write it.  Is the mundane the 'boring parts' Elmore Leonard refers to in his rules, advising writers to skip, or are they a treasure-house of character development.

How do you use the mundane, the everyday?  Do you skip it or do you use it? 

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm... Can't one both exploit social situations for cheap thrills but also poke at deeper questions? Though I guess it seems difficult to do both!

    I leave most of the mundane stuff out (or at least I try to). If I leave it in, I hope that it's different enough to be memorable or serves some purpose in the story.